Acupuncture is a treatment based on Chinese medicine -- a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of Chinese medicine is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee") flows through energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi is thought to create health and wellness. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary opposites. According to Chinese medicine, everything in nature has both yin and yang. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow) causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an acupuncturist inserts needles at points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.
The earliest recorded use of acupuncture dates from 200 BCE. Knowledge of acupuncture spread from China along Arab trade routes towards the West. However, up until the early 1970s, most Americans had never heard of acupuncture.
Acupuncture gained attention in the United States when President Nixon visited China in 1972. Traveling with Nixon was New York Times reporter James Reston, who received acupuncture in China after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. Reston was so impressed with the post-operative pain relief he experienced from the procedure that he wrote about acupuncture upon returning to the United States.
In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) formally recognized acupuncture as a mainstream medicine healing option with a statement documenting the procedure' s safety and efficacy for treating a range of health conditions. Acupuncture has been used successfully in the treatment of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others), nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, and insomnia.
The number of acupuncture treatments you need depends on the complexity of your illness, whether it's a chronic or recent condition, and your general health. Treatment is usually not painful and takes anywhere from 20 - 40 minutes. Most conditions respond within 6-12 visits. Chronic conditions may take longer.
Acupuncture treatments are $60 per session and package discounts are available.